Defending Marriage: What Comes Next?

With another judge attacking marriage in California, the next question is where we go from here. Higher courts will review the decision, of course, but whatever they decide, you can be sure the legal challenges to state marriage definitions will keep coming. It’s difficult to see how true marriage and the will of the people can be secure without a constitutional amendment of some sort, whether it’s an outright national definition of marriage or a man-woman union or simply language revoking the judiciary’s right to address the matter.

How plausible is either scenario? More so than you might think. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states currently preserve marriage legislatively, and 30 have put it directly in their constitutions. So public support is already a good chunk of the way to the 38-state threshold that would be necessary to ratify an amendment to the Constitution, and an increased perception that the courts won’t let the people make their own decisions (which may be fueled not only by this, but also by the feds suing Arizona and potential copycats, as well as legal battles over individual healthcare mandates) could be enough to push them the rest of the way.

Ironically, the biggest wild card I see is the likelihood of the Republican establishment running away from the issue out of perceived political expediency. We can always count on the GOP to pull defeat from the jaws of victory…

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